Purity & FreedomResources

Mistakes Men Make

I have been spending the last couple weeks working on material designed for male youth workers.   My actual objective was: write to male youth workers offering advice on how they can combat lust among young women in their youth ministry.

My conclusion, after much prayer, thought, counsel and research:  Men should not be combating lust among young women in their youth ministry.

While obviously Christian men have some involvement in a road to healing, having a man take lead role in a walk of recovery is like having a man teach a childbirthing class.  There are some things they just don’t get!  More on that is to come, but for now, let’s look at some basic mistakes men make.

Men think men are the only ones.  This is false (in case the existence of this ministry hadn’t clued you in to that already).  While men may say, “Oh, yes, of course women might struggle with lust” they don’t often preach that.  Any time I have heard pornography addressed it has been exclusively to men.  We hear things like, “Men, watch what you have on your computer,”  “Men, watch where you let your thoughts wander.”  And, for a woman struggling with pornography and lust, every one of those “men”s is a nail in an already sealed coffin.

Men assume it’s the same all the way around.  A woman’s struggle has a different base and progress than a man’s struggle.  This is why men are so confused as to why women struggle at all.  Men are told that they struggle with pornography and lust because God has created them to be visually-wired.  While it is true men are sensitive to visual stimuli, visual stimuli is not why men struggle with porn.  Sin is why men struggle with porn; visual sensitivity is what makes the difference between a man’s struggle and a woman’s struggle.

Men think they can fix it.  Male accountability partners are a bad idea for women.  Man-to-man accountability is beneficial as brothers in Christ help each other, but Man-to-woman accountability is a bad idea all around.  Yes, accountability is important, but co-ed accountability is dangerous.  It can compromise the purity of the man involved and can mess with the heart and mind of the young woman.  In essence, the male accountability partner runs the risk of becoming her new pornography- obviously not in the literal sense (though that could happen).

Men disrespect women.  When a woman watches a man disrespect or degrade women, it only emphasizes the lies she is believing about herself.  Chivalry may be dying, but it’s taking thousands of women down with it.

So what should men do?

Brothers in Christ can play a crucial role in maintaining the purity of their sisters.  While they shouldn’t be involved at the root, they can help heal the wounds that led her to this place.  Many women fall into this because they feel men require this of them.  They buy the lie that this is all they’re worth.  Men, can help correct that thinking, not by romancing her, fixing her or by being her accountability partner, but by being men of honor and valor- a man that is worth waiting for.

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3 comments

  1. I used to think men were the only ones who struggled with porn until I found your website. I don’t know who or what is to “blame” for that mindset, but I know the decades of silence surrounding women and porn hasn’t helped. I, for one, want to understand; which is why your website and efforts are so critical. Obviously, they shouldn’t be involved in accountability, but if they are genuinely want to, men are more than capable of understanding. After all, there is a reason for everything, even if it boils down to hormones (which, on some level, we all have to deal with; men and women alike).

    As you’ve shared, the fear surrounding addiction to porn is especially difficult for women, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for men–especially Christian men involved in ministry or missions. I use myself as an example of that, having just posted my confession of 15+ years of porn addiction on my website. I want to be the same person on the inside that people may have believed I was on the outside, and God has used your testimony to make me see my need of confession as a step in that process.

    I couldn’t agree more about the need for men to respect and honor women–I’ve seen too many examples (from secular high schools to Christian ministries) where tact, chivalry, and even simple manners are neglected. But respect needs to be mutual. I’ve received unprovoked cat-calls and whistles from young teen girls and older women alike while out walking, so it’s not just a one-sided issue. As men and women following Christ, we should be striving to break those cycles and counter our culture.

    1. Greg,

      I agree with pieces of many of those comments. While I understand that there is hormonal issue involved in the struggle, it has been my experience in talking to men who struggled and working with women who struggled that the struggles are, in fact, different. Yes, it is still porn. Yes, it is still sin, but the root issues causing the struggle give it an entirely different “face,” if you will. So while men may understand what it is to struggle, they don’t understand what it is to be a woman and struggle.

      When a woman watches pornography, she is witnessing the destruction of the very beauty with which she was created. For men, the role is different. Are they watching the destruction of beauty? Absolutely, but at the same time they are watching this elevation of men to a ridiculously high and abusive power.

      That’s where the respect issue then comes in. If men carry that mindset of “I am man, hear me roar” into their everyday lives, it destroys the women around them who want to believe that men see us as more than just sex objects. While respect does go both ways, this article was about what men can do, so, in essence I fall back on that old phrase, “I wasn’t talking about them” and as much as it does go both ways, we are each only responsible (and held accountable, I might add) for one.

      My ministry is to Christian women struggling with porn. It is my experience that women struggling (emphasis on struggling as opposed to committing) with lust sins actually don’t act them out in public. In other words, the girls cat-calling you had lust issues and frankly didn’t care if you knew. They aren’t struggling… they are just plain doing. The struggling ones are usually quiet. They cat call you from behind their locked doors when no one can hear. Those are the ones I deal with, and those are the ones who are watching, just waiting for someone to prove all the lies wrong.

  2. Jessica,

    I apologize for being a bit off-topic in my initial reply. 🙁

    If women see men as being elevated through porn, then it motivates me even more to fight it. This is why what you’re sharing is so important–you’re taking the intellectual truth that women struggle with lust, and explaining why and how they do. Understanding those root issues removes the misunderstanding and helps me to better know how to respect them. If I have any wrong notions or misconceptions about women and lust, then I need to be corrected. That’s where my heart is.